Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Moral FailureOn the Impossible Demands of Morality$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lisa Tessman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199396146

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199396146.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 June 2019

Moral Dilemmas and Impossible Moral Requirements

Moral Dilemmas and Impossible Moral Requirements

(p.10) (p.11) 1 Moral Dilemmas and Impossible Moral Requirements
Moral Failure

Lisa Tessman

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 introduces the concepts of impossible moral requirements and unavoidable moral failure by reviewing and rethinking the philosophical debates about whether or not any moral conflicts are genuine moral dilemmas. When a moral conflict occurs and one chooses to fulfill one of the conflicting requirements, the other requirement thereby becomes impossible to fulfill. What happens to a moral requirement that becomes impossible in this way? The chapter claims that some moral requirements, those one can call negotiable, can be negotiated away in the course of resolving a conflict, while other moral requirements, which are non-negotiable, remain binding no matter how the conflict is resolved for the purpose of deciding which action to perform. After discussing moral value pluralism, the chapter argues that non-negotiable moral requirements—which concern significant values for which there can be neither substitutions nor compensations—remain binding even if they become impossible to fulfill.

Keywords:   moral dilemma, moral dilemmas debate, moral conflict, moral requirement, ought implies can, moral value pluralism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .